You may go to the gym regularly, follow your workout routine per the schedule and watch your calorie intake to stay fit. But, if you’re thinking of trying something new, something that makes you push your limits and test your body fitness, CrossFit is the solution.
CrossFit is an exercise program that breaks your daily routine of sets and reps. It makes you try different workouts that target the strength and fitness of your body as a whole. Here’s what you need to know before starting a CrossFit program:
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a fitness regime that combines weightlifting, gymnastics and endurance to increase and improve your general fitness level. It is a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercises to help you get fit.
CrossFit workouts are a myriad of constantly varied exercises performed at a high intensity. Many people may be intimated by the CrossFit videos and seeing other people perform these workouts, but in reality, CrossFit is a scalable program that can be modified to suit everyone of any fitness level and age.
What Is in a CrossFit Schedule?
CrossFit workouts change daily, and you don’t repeat the same workout any day. Though the exercises may be the same, the load, tempo, reps and exercise duration vary, so the way you perform these exercises is different for each day.
While these workouts change daily, they follow a basic structure every day. A typical CrossFit schedule consists of four parts:
- Warm-up: Like any other workout, you should warm up your body and muscles before commencing your exercises. A warm-up session takes anywhere around five to fifteen minutes. Most CrossFit warm-ups include light cardio (generally for two minutes) such as rowing machine or assault bike, muscle activation sessions and mobility work to improve your range of motion in your workout.
- Workout of the day: This is the main area of a CrossFit workout. WOD consists of high-intensity circuits that combine several exercises to challenge your fitness and help you improve your balance, endurance, agility and anaerobic power. A typical WOD takes anywhere around twenty to thirty minutes.
- Strength or skill training: Another main component of a CrossFit workout is strength or skill training. The strength training sessions and drills help you build in this area. Its main lifts include front squats, back squats, deadlifts and bench. Beginners can perform reps and sets of these movements to practice and improve their form and technique.
- Cool down: After an intense workout, cooling down your body helps normalize your heart rate and returns your heartbeat to its normal resting rate. You can stretch and perform breathing drills to calm your body. Traditional methods like static stretches and foam rolling are a great way to cool down after CrossFit.
Just like every workout program, CrossFit also requires a certain kind of discipline and focus to get the desired results. The key to success in CrossFit is intensity. Intensity is of two types — relative and actual. Relative intensity is how you feel when you are on a clock doing workouts and challenging yourself to do better. Whereas actual intensity can be compared with others as it is the actual workload of an individual in terms of mass, time and distance.
CrossFit is not a “do a set and take rest” program. CrossFit enthusiasts avoid the routine and challenge their bodies in new ways to take their fitness to next level.
How Often Should You Do a CrossFit Workout?
While CrossFit workouts can be performed daily, it’s not generally recommended. You can expect to do your CrossFit training around two to five days a week. Many beginners start doing CrossFit workouts for two days a week and then gradually increase it to five days a week after building their stamina and adjusting their bodies to these intense workouts.
A common mistake by most beginners in a CrossFit is going too hard too fast. To get the desired results and improve the functional movements of your body, you need to stay consistent and scale your workouts according to your body. Start with low-intensity CrossFit workouts, then increase the workout intensity once your body gets accustomed to these workouts. This way, you can save yourself from injury and body soreness.
How Many Rest Days Should You Take a Week?
Most CrossFit enthusiasts follow a three-day-on, one-day-off and two-day-on schedule for their workouts. It means working out from Monday to Wednesday, taking a rest day or active recovery day on Thursday, and finishing the exercises on Friday and Saturday. Some people also follow a consistent three-day-on and one-day off workout schedule. You need to understand what your body wants and what type of rest day schedule is enough for you to plan your workout and rest days.
After a few days of intense workouts, you need to relax your body and give it some time to recover to become stronger and better. Many people who used to work out continuously for six or five days a week felt tired and weak after a few months. Others who took rest days in-between the week felt their performance and stamina improve.
Should You Do Other Types of Workouts When You Don’t Do a WOD?
While some prefer relaxing and staying in bed during their rest days, others like to do stretching and light exercises to help their body relax the muscles.
Depending on how you feel and what your body needs, you can perform light exercises and cardio when you’re not doing a WOD. If your body doesn’t allow you to do a WOD, or you feel exhausted and miserable before the WOD, it’s better to listen to your body and do some light exercises till you feel better.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, CrossFit is a great way to improve your performance, coordination, agility, speed, strength, stamina and endurance. Breaking out of your routine helps you challenge your fitness and take it to another level. No matter the age and fitness level, everyone can do CrossFit with the right schedule. Get in touch with us today to learn more about CrossFit.